|On Sacred Ground|
|Baba's bedroom is switched!|
On the 27th of August, 1948, Meher Baba turned the key in the silver lock of Meherazad's newly constructed Main Bungalow, officially opening the front door to His last permanent place of residence on Earth. At Baba's request, Mehera had designed the Bungalow, placing Baba's Room upstairs so that He and His Mandali would have a separate, private entrance. But, in December 1956, Baba's injuries in the automobile accident near Satara would change that forever.
In l957, after the accident, when Baba returned to Meherazad after treatment in Pune, He stayed for some time in the ground-floor room where Naja, Goher and Meheru had been living (the room we think of now as “Baba’s Room”), but eventually insisted on returning to His bedroom upstairs, despite the pain He suffered climbing up and down every day. Mehera and Goher would frequently plead with Baba to shift back to the ground-floor room to avoid the tortuous climb, but Baba refused and continued to use the stairs. Sometimes He would sit on a pillow and slowly scoot down the steps when the pain was too intense to stand and walk.
One morning in l958 Mehera was accompanying Baba down the stairs for breakfast. He had one hand resting on her arm for support and the other holding a scarf over His nose and mouth to block the wind. On the way down Baba mis-stepped, causing His hip to twist as He tried to catch His balance, and Mehera saw Him grimace in great pain. Unable to bear seeing Baba suffer so terribly, Mehera once again pleaded with Him to shift to the room downstairs and, after months of saying no, Baba finally relented. After this incident Baba continued into the house holding onto Mehera and, as usual, had His breakfast in the dining room with the women mandali. One can only imagine what was going through the women’s minds—they knew they had to act fast before Baba could change His mind. So, when Baba had finished breakfast and left the Main Bungalow for Mandali Hall, the women sprang into action.
Naja and Meheru quickly shifted their beds into the Small Bungalow across from the veranda of the main house—to rooms where they were to reside for the duration of their lifetimes. Goher's bed was placed in the passageway, just outside what now became Baba's bedroom. Meheru contacted Kaka (who was a mandali member and Meherazad’s manager), who, with the garden boys, brought Baba's furniture down the narrow staircase and into His new bedroom. By the time Baba returned from Mandali Hall, their work was complete.
With excitement and anticipation, Mehera escorted Baba into His new bedroom. Baba appeared astounded to see that they had accomplished the move in such a short time. Baba told Mehera He was happy with the room. And Mehera and the other women were greatly relieved that Baba would no longer suffer the agonizing climb up and down the stairs each day.
--Shelley Marrich for Avatar Meher Baba Trust, 20 November 2014
|Meher Baba and Mehera standing outside the verandah of Meherazad's Main Bungalow in 1959. Even without the date, you could detect that this picture was taken after Baba had shifted to the ground floor room since there is a tarpaulin over the door to Baba's Room to protect the men Mandali as they would come and go for night watch duty. Baba's original room was on the upper floor to the far right in the photo. (photo courtesy Meher Nazar Publications)|
|Recent photo of the first flight of steps down from Baba's upstairs room.|
|The next (second) flight of steps down from Baba's room…|
|…and the third and last flight of steps to the veranda on the ground floor.|